The Continental Divide at the Þingvellir National Park in Iceland.
The Continental Divide at the Þingvellir National Park in Iceland. Lindsay Lou/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Smash: When continents collide!

How are mountains made? What causes an earthquake? How does hot lava come bubbling up? The answer in each case is…tectonic plates!

These are giant, moving slabs of rock covering the Earth’s surface. When they slide past or smash into each other it shakes the planet. But, they also helped shape the land we live on.

Find out how they work with an extreme cooking demonstration (you’ll never see peanut M&Ms the same way). Meet the scientist who thought long ago all the continents were smushed together in a super-continent (spoiler: he was right!). Plus an interview with a USGS scientist about what our planet might look like in a million years.

All that plus a mystery sound and a Moment of Um about stinky breath. Listen up and rock on!

Tectonic plates today!
Tectonic plates today! Courtesy of USGS
Map of tectonic plates 210 million years ago
Map of tectonic plates 210 million years ago Courtesy of USGS